Changes

I’ve decided to change the blog’s title, and so along with that, I am also changing the URL.

The new title is

Lifeshadow

And the new address is

http://lifeshadow.wordpress.com

I have two major reasons for the change. One is that wanted a title that reflects my primary interests in WoW at this time: Playing a Tree of Life and playing a Shadow Priest. The second reason is purely aesthetic: Lifeshadow is more concise and it communicates a more concrete idea; my former title was an allusion to lore that didn’t really communicate anything definite about the nature of the blog.

So, if you could be so kind as to make the appropriate changes and visit me at my new home, I will sincerely appreciate it.

Kara, Kara, Why Ya Buggin?

After a very frustrating couple of days in Kara (more on that in a bit), we finally got ourselves back in gear last night: one-shotting Aran and downing the Prince. And finally, after about 6 months of my guild being in Kara, we saw a healing weapon drop for the first time: Light’s Justice. I was able to roll on it along with our priest. He won. Too bad for me, but a boon for our raiding group, which is what matters anyway. (And for the best, too, since I’m hoping to get the Nightstaff with its +55 Spirit.) I didn’t go home empty-handed, though: Prince also dropped Jade Ring of the Everliving and Chess dropped Forestlord Striders. I’m figuring that once I get either a mace or staff from Kara, along with the +81 healing enchant, and Essence of the Martyr I’ll be able to break 1700 healing, so here’s hoping for a lucky drop soon.

Like I said, we had a very positive night compared to the runs that had come before. Thursday night we one-shotted Illhoof, went to Aran and wiped and wiped and wiped and wiped and wiped and had to throw in the towel because it was too late. Very disheartening. We hit Attumen and Maiden Friday night with ease, a little morale booster there. Went back in on Saturday to Aran: again, wiping on the elementals. We would have kept going, but people started dropping and we discovered that there were server problems. Strange thing about that was some of us (myself included) weren’t dropped. So that ended that run. Last night, then, was a much welcome change of fortune for us.

How was your weekend?

Gnarled Ironwood Pauldrons

gnarledcropped2.jpg

After about three weeks of saving badges from Kara, I was able to get these shoulders on Friday. Not a bad deal that 60 badges can get you shoulders that are better than T4 and almost as good as T5.

Gnarled Ironwood Pauldrons
303 Armor
+21 Stamina
+23 Intellect
+26 Spirit
Red Socket
Yellow Socket
Socket Bonus: +7 Healing
Increases healing done by up to 73 and damage done by up to 25 for all magical spells and effects.

Shoulderguards of Malorne (T4)
284 Armor
+19 Stamina (-2)
+23 Intellect
+19 Spirit (-7)
Blue Socket
Blue Socket
Socket Bonus: +3 Spirit (-7 Healing)
Durability 70 / 70
Classes: Druid
Requires Level 70
Equip: Increases healing done by up to 68 and damage done by up to 23 for all magical spells and effects. (-5 Healing)
Equip: Restores 5 mana per 5 sec. (+5 MP5)

Nordrassil Life-Mantle (T5)
314 Armor
+26 Stamina (+5)
+27 Intellect (+4)
+16 Spirit (-10)
Blue Socket
Blue Socket
Socket Bonus: +7 Healing
Increases healing done by up to 77 and damage done by up to 26 for all magical spells and effects. (+4 Healing)
Restores 6 mana per 5 sec. (+6 MP5)

Plus with the Gnarled Ironwood, you can get the socket bonus with a Teardrop and Luminous. The socket bonus for the T4 is hardly worth getting and to get the T5 socket bonus you’d have to use blue/purple/green gems which would disallow using the powerful red healing gems (unless you’re not worried about stacking healing.) Furthermore, if you’re using a Bracing Earthstorm Diamond as your metagem, you have to keep the correct ratio between red and blue, thus throwing another complication into socketing these tier shoulders.

Overall, these badge shoulders are definitely a desirable piece of resto druid gear and relatively easy to obtain; especially in comparison to having to 25-man Gruul’s or TK and hope that the token will drop and then be lucky enough to win the roll.

Teamwork; Or, Why I Play

I’ve been 70 for going on three months now and in that time I’ve been able to run exclusively with my guild, mostly in Kara, along with the occasional five-man. One thing I’ve begun noticing lately is how there is a definite chemistry between the other regular players and myself. It’s somewhat difficult to put into words, but when you’re healing alongside the regular healers, healing the usual tanks and DPS, conversing with the usual gang on TS, it all “feels right.”

It’s a good feeling, obviously; like you are truly a part of something bigger than yourself, working in concert to achieve a definite synergy and synchronicity. It’s a fulfilling experience to go into a boss encounter that you know, and be able to trust each member of the group to play his role, to be where he needs to be, and participate fluidly in the choreography of the fight. What’s even more exciting is the learning experience as a group. You begin working on a new encounter and everyone runs around like chickens with their heads cut off. But then, something awesome happens: the fight begins to “click.” And then with practice and experience, the group works together, each of us fulfilling our individual responsibilities in service to the communal whole, merging ourselves into one organism that is able to overcome tough challenges and achieve goals that no one player could do alone.

And so when I think about why I play, it’s not the gear or gold or rep that keeps pulling me back (although I do enjoy those aspects). More important than the material gains of the game is the experience of teamwork and camaraderie. This is what keeps me returning to the game night after night. Certainly, this experience is not exclusive to World of Warcraft; it’s an age-old human experience, part of our basic nature to live and play in social groups.

Alive and Treeing

Long time, no see. Yes, the blog has fallen into disuse as of late. A lot of work with the semester starting up and not much exciting happening in the game for the last couple of weeks of Christmas break. Soon after I posted my resolutions list, I actually achieved a couple of them. Got the shoulder enchant from Aldor. Hit revered with HH this past weekend for the head enchant. We did a guild run of regular SH with one of our warriors warrior who is not prot-specced (he had been for a long time so he knew how to tank, though). I mean, it’s doable, and we did it. And it’s a good lesson in aggro management, but it makes for a long run (especially with no OOC rez). Still, it got me to revered, so all is well that ends well.

As for the raid goals I listed: Guild took a shot at Nalorakk in ZA (still some learning to do there). Not much guild enthusiasm for downing Netherspite; we’ll get him eventually, but it’s not a top priority for us. Had an awesome night where we one-shotted Shade, as well as the other bosses for the night. That was our first one-shot of Aran, too. Prince is still troublesome, but always due to unlucky infernal drops. As long as get good positioning, we can down him, which is what that fight boils down to anyway.

Nightbane is a piece of cake now. Here’s our strategy: We have our caster/ranged group on the side near the door and we send one healer (priest or pally) to the other side to focus on the melee group. This positioning helps tremendously when melee gets feared away from the main ranged group. I stay in the ranged group to throw HOTs on the raid when hit by charred earth. It has worked every time so far (except once when the tank got feared and Nightbane turned toward and hit us with Smoldering Breath).

For fun here’s our WWS report from last night’s Kara run (anonymous, I’m “Mist”). We did some switching in and out of alts so that’s why there are more than ten in the overall chart.

As for other goings on, I’m 3 badges away from the Gnarled Ironwood Pauldrons which I am very much looking forward to getting. Between the stats and the look, I will be very happy to have it.

So, the big goal now it to save up and get epic flight form. The only rep I’m interested in increasing is with Aldor for the next level of shoulder inscription. I don’t care anything about any of the faction mounts. Thus leaving epic flight as the most attractive goal to accomplish.

Fancy Plans (and Pants to Match)*

So other folks have been blogging their WOW resolutions for the new year, so I’m going to throw mine out there as well.

1. Switch from Scryer to Aldor and get the healing shoulder inscription. (DONE)

2. Get to Revered with Honor Hold for the Glyph of Renewal.

3. Epic flight form!!!

4. Level Tsyra to 70 so that she can farm leather and herbs for Gillir.

5. Drop skinning on Gillir and take up Alchemy (see 4).

6. Save gold. Save gold. Save gold.

7. Clear all of Kara (only Netherspite remains).

8. Begin raiding in Zul’Aman.

*From Newsradio “Super Karate Monkey Death Car”

Nightbane R.I.P.

WoWScrnShot_123107_010905

Well, that was a tough one. We went in on Friday night and made five unsuccessful attempts. Last night, we did it in three or four (not sure, they start blurring together).

Handling the transitions from flight to ground phases is really key to this fight: you’ve got to stop healing at least 10 seconds before he lands so that the tank can get aggro. We also had our paladin healer stand on the other side of Nightbane which helped too; he was able to focus completely on the melee and tank, and if they got feared that way, he was able to heal them.

In addition, we have cleared all of Kara except for Netherspite, so a nice way to end the year for The Olde Guard.

And in other good news, with the much-needed help of my guildies on the primals, I finally made this:

Windhawk Hauberk.

Have a Happy New Year!

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